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COUNCIL CONNECTION

Our District 16 Director Can Help You
Sharon Guarino, former presideent of the WS/FC Council of PTAs, is the District 16 Director for the WS/FC School System. Sharon serves as our liaison between the State Board and our local PTA/PTSA units for Forsyth and Stokes counties. She is available to help with leadership trainings you might want to hold for your Board. With the PTA experience Sharon has, she is the one to call if you are having problems or have questions. Call at 945-4943 or e-mail ssguarino2@aol.com.
FROM OUR SUPERINTENDENT: Dr. Don Martin
My thanks to each of you, our local PTA leaders, for all that you have done for our schools and our students this year. Our school system is fortunate to have you as a part of its team. To ensure that our students continue to receive the best education opportunities possible, we must not only monitor best practices and instructional programs but also provide students with the tools that are needed to enhance instruction and the facilities that are necessary for a productive learning environment.

Over the past several months, our Board of Education held ten public forums. The purpose of the forums was to present needs that are facing our district over the next seven years and to receive input from the community regarding these needs. Based on the results of these forums, the Board presented to the County Commissioners a Capital Facilities Plan for 2001 through 2007. The Plan includes maintenance and improvements to existing facilities, the construction of new facilities, and technology. While the request may look a little ambitious at $202 million, the average of $29 million is the same rate of spending that has been necessary to meet our facility needs during the past five years. I hope that we can count on you, the PTA Council both past and present, to support us when the time comes to present this information to the citizens of Forsyth County. When we recognize that only 20% of the registered voters in this county have children in school, we understand the tremendous challenge facing us.

Again, let me express my sincere thanks to those of you who hold a PTA office.

Dr. Donald Martin

REFLECTIONS WINNERS
The WS/FC Council of PTAs announced the winners of the 2001-2002 Reflections competition. All the winning visual arts and photography pieces will be on exhibit at the Reynolds Gallery at the Sawtooth Center the week of Feb. 18.

VISUAL ARTS

PRIMARY DIVISION – grades K-2
1st Asha Piggot, Easton
2nd (tie) Sydnei Rosenbalm, North Hills; Callie Bridge, Jefferson El.
3rd (tie) Damon Bell, North Hills; Quintrell Stephens, Easton
Honorable Mention: Yung Jee Kim, Jefferson El.; Caitlin Moffat, Jefferson El.; Alexander Robinson, Moore; Seth Day, Cash; Zachary Bodford, Meadowlark El.

INTERMEDIATE DIVISION – grades 3-5
1st Gillian Page, Clemmons El.
2nd (tie) Zachary Gignac, Cash; Sarah Leo, Vienna
3rd (tie) Carleigh Nester, Kernersville El.; Nastassja Ortiz, Union Cross
Honorable Mention: Stormi Gignac, Cash; Ivy Gramm, Downtown El.; Hannah Tuttle, Cash; Carly Wolberg, Jefferson El.

MIDDLE DIVISION – grades 6-8
1st Mia Mulic, Jefferson Mid.
2nd (tie) Hannah Craven, Kernersville Mid.; Molly Bolton, Hanes
3rd (tie) Sokun Hourn, Kernersville Mid.; Christian Johns, Paisley
Honorable Mention: Jazmin Key, Jefferson Mid.; Ian Lawrence, Meadowlark Mid.; Kathryn Crowell, Hanes; Jill Howland, Kernersville Mid.; Jennifer Whitman, Northwest

SENIOR DIVISION – grades 9-12
1st Olivia Thigpen, Mt. Tabor
2nd (tie) Lauren Dibianca, Mt. Tabor; Miguel Gonzales, Mt. Tabor
3rd (tie) Lexi Jadoff, Mt. Tabor; Abigail Browning, Mt. Tabor
Honorable Mention: Jordan Payne, East; Ashley Edward, East; Rebekah Bourland, Reynolds; Jennifer Roush, Mt. Tabor; Abigail Browning, Mt. Tabor

PHOTOGRAPHY

PRIMARY DIVISION – grades K-2
1st Dana Little, Mineral Springs El.
2nd (tie) Max Wolfe, Moore; Kasie Johnston, Whitaker
3rd (tie) Garrett Motsinger, Union Cross; Logan McDonald, Sherwood Forest
Honorable Mention: Jason Britton, Union Cross

INTERMEDIATE DIVISION – grades 3-5
1st Elizabeth Cronin, Kernersville El.
2nd (tie) Jodie Roberts, Ward; Sarah Cronin, Kernersville El.
3rd (tie) Caroline Mazyek, Clemmons El.; Emily Wolfe, Moore
Honorable Mention: Sarah Shelton, Moore

MIDDLE DIVISION – grades 6-8
1st Zach Perret, Hanes
2nd Jamie Wolfe, Wiley
3rd (tie) Elena Shapiro, Hanes; Kenneth Hauser, Kernersville Mid.
Honorable Mentions: Jennifer Weir, Jefferson Mid.; Sarah McManus, Hanes

SENIOR DIVISION – grades 9-12
1st Renee Miller, Mt. Tabor
2nd (tie) Megan Slocum, East; Christina Roach, West
3rd Kevin Bowes. West
Honorable Mention: Sarah Barnes, Mt. Tabor

LITERATURE

PRIMARY DIVISION – grades K-2
1st Taylore Williams, Old Richmond
2nd Saskia Shoeman, Sherwood Forest
3rd Josh McIntyre, Clemmons El.
Honorable Mention: Kim Korzen, Cash

Intermediate Division – grades 3-5
1st Neil Johnson, Brunson
2nd (tie) Jennifer Violette, Union Cross; Katelyn Jones, Jefferson El.
3rd Dillan Hash, Old Richmond; David Cook, Southwest
Honorable Mention: Spencer Warren, Brunson; Joshua Kinney, Kernersville El.

MIDDLE DIVISION – grades 6-8
1st Sarah Toelkes, Jefferson Mid.
2nd Katherine Stephens, Jefferson Mid.
3rd (tie) Lexi Kay, Meadowlark Mid.; Dana Johnson, Meadowlark Mid.
Honorable Mentions: Elizabeth Golden, Meadowlark Mid.; Mary Anna Alley, Jefferson Mid.; Hunter Gardner, Jefferson Mid.

SENIOR DIVISION – grades 9-12
1st Andrew Phelps, West
2nd Anna Marshall, West
3rd Daniel Grillo, Reynolds
Honorable Mention: Jennifer Skultety, West

MUSICAL COMPOSITION

PRIMARY DIVISION – grades K-2
1st Ann Luke, Sherwood Forest
2nd Kellie Norris, Clemmons El.
3rd Hannah Moerk, Cash El.

INTERMEDIATE DIVISION – grades 3-5
1st Paige Bigger, Meadowlark El.
2nd Andrea Beck, Brunson
3rd Jimmy Luke, Sherwood Forest
Honorable Mention: Joey Hirsh, Whitaker

MIDDLE DIVISION – grades 6-8
1st Kevin Schroeder, Hanes
2nd (tie) Kathryn Crowell, Hanes; Tal Crews, Jefferson Mid.
3rd Jonathan Burg-Grigsby, Hanes
Honorable Mention: Christopher Paige, Paisley

SENIOR DIVISION – grades 9-12
1st Brad Ralston, Reynolds
2nd Serah Frack, Reynolds
3rd Jenna Niedringhaus, West
Honorable Mention: Jeremy Marshall, West

2002 NC PTA CONVENTION IS MAY 3-4
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Council of PTAs and our local PTA units is hosting the 2002 NC PTA Convention at the Adams Mark Hotel, May 3-4.

As hosts we will be asked to provide, for instance, information for visitors, entertainment, ROTC units, AV equipment for workshops, table decorations, and gifts for visiting dignitaries. There isn’t a large amount of expense to hosting a convention, but some money will need to be collected from local units to help fund items such as liability insurance and the cost of the Hospitality suite.

Sharon Guarino is chairman of the Local Arrangements Committee. Judy Mountjoy is chair of the Volunteer Committee. If you would like to be one of the many volunteers needed to put on the convention, please contact Sharon or Judy at the following numbers: Sharon 945-4349 or Judy at 722-7609.

A PTA Convention is the BEST thing a local PTA officer and member can do for themselves. It is a time of fun, fellowship and learning with others across the state.

CHARACTER EDUCATION
by Bill Moser, WS/FC Schools
727-8536; bmoser@wsfcs.k12.nc.us
Contact for information or programs.
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools take joint responsibility with families, religious organizations, and the community in building character in young people. We hope that by working together this philosophy of teaching students to know, care and act responsibly will permeate our society. Our Character Education program stresses Responsibility, Respect, Self-Discipline, Perseverance, Caring, and Integrity.

I hope that many schools will consider forming parent support groups. Many parents are concerned about their children’s values and moral development, yet feel powerless or ineffective in helping their children to overcome negative peer, neighborhood, or social influences around them. Some schools have facilitated the formation of peer, self-help groups for parents in which they give one another support and ideas to achieve their mutual, child-rearing goals. When teachers and administrators participate regularly or occasionally in these groups, it can go a long way towards developing a school-family alliance that has an enormous positive impact on the students’ character education.

PTAs who are interested in my speaking on “Raising Children of Character” at their meetings should contact me, and I will be glad to make arrangements to visit your school.

Remember: Character is an integral part of the education of our students.

What do we mean by self-discipline?
Behaving from an internal frame of reference rather than from external control of an authority figure such as a parent, teacher, or baby-sitter, demonstrates self-discipline.

A self-disciplined person is able to understand and project himself into another person’s “world”.

Making up one’s own mind about the boundaries for behavior and respecting the boundaries of others are signs of self-discipline.

Being able to forgo one’s own pleasure and immediate gratification for the greater good takes self-discipline.

Setting goals and working toward them is a key ingredient in self-discipline. Self-discipline is a necessary tool in unlocking the key elements of good character.

What can we as parents do to assist our children to be self-disciplined?

...Set rules – limits and boundaries. Children need rules for several reasons: to help govern their behavior, to develop an internal system of organization, and to be able to predict how life’s events will turn out. Set rules for your children’s behavior by deciding what you want them to do rather than what you don’t want them to do. “Do” rules remind children of the goals you have set for their behavior and describe new behaviors you want them to acquire. “Don’t” rules only tell children what they are not supposed to do; they don’t focus on new, parent-approved options to replace them.

...Enforce rules. Setting rules is only the first step in developing self-discipline. Once rules are selected and presented to your children, letting them know what will happen when they follow the rules and what will befall them when they don’t, are the next building blocks in the plan to construct self-disciplined young people – and adults.

...Model self-discipline yourself. Even though it is difficult to do so, you will best teach your children self-discipline through the model you present. It is tempting to fly off the handle with anger sometimes when you are mad at something that happened at work or at home. Trying to self-talk your way to a calmer mood and problem-solve solutions rather than bang the pots and pans around the stove in disgust demonstrates your ability to practice what you teach. It is difficult to teach self-discipline if you have not learned it yourself.

DISCIPLINE TIPS FOR PARENTS
To many people, discipline means punishment. But, actually, “to discipline” means “to teach”. Discipline should be a positive way of helping and guiding children to achieve self-control.

Children need clear rules and consistent enforcement to guide their behavior. In school, as at home, the most effective rules are those decided upon by everyone--students, teachers, administrators, and parents—and enforced by all.

Parents might consider the following list of discipline tips:

<<

>>>Involve children as much as possible in making family rules. They are less likely to break rules that they have helped establish.

>>>Be flexible. Some rules may work when a child is young, but as children get older, they need and want more independence. Remember, not all children respond in the same way.

>>>Tell a child about behavior that is annoying to you, or others.

>>>Act quickly when a child misbehaves. Don't let a problem build up over time.

>>>Be consistent. Agree with other family members on methods of discipline. This way a child always knows what will happen if he or she does not follow the rules.

>>>Avoid power struggles with your children. Discipline is not a game in which there is a winner and a loser. You expect cooperation from your child and your child expects you to be fair. Respect your child enough to allow disagreements at times.

>>>Keep your sense of humor.

Excerpted from "Discipline: A Parent's Guide," available on the PTA's website at http://www.pta.org/programs/challeng/discipln.htm.

HOW'S YOUR CHILD DOING IN SCHOOL?
Although hot educational topics come and go, parents will always need to know the answer to the question: How is my child doing in school? The following tips--based largely on information from federally-funded education research--will help parents learn what to watch for when evaluating their child's school performance.

***Know what is expected. What are the specific academic standards for every grade and most subjects?

***Know how well your child is reading. A child who is behind on reading is likely to have difficulty in writing, social studies, and even math and science.

***Understand test scores. Driven by federal legislation and desires for higher student performance, more emphasis has been placed on standardized test results than ever before.

***Solicit teacher feedback. Formal teacher feedback is usually presented during parent-teacher conferences but also may occur at specific meetings during the course of the school year.

***Familiarize yourself with your child's homework. Does homework cover the educational standards for this grade? Is it linked to classroom assignments and textbooks in both content and difficulty?

Excerpted from "How's Your Child Doing in School? Ten researched-based ways to find out", Our Children, March 2001.

BEING AN EFFECTIVE LEADER
We all want to be a positive, effective leader. Creative leaders are those who embody the following characteristics:

>>>Have faith in people, offer them challenging opportunities, and delegate responsibility to them.

People feel a commitment to decisions in which they have participated so involve your board members in the planning process. Involve the general membership as much as possible in choosing the goals and projects to be sponsored by your unit.

>>>Believe in your fellow officers and exhibit your beliefs through your words and actions.

Don’t “micro-manage” by telling them “how” to do their job, but value the individuality of your leaders. Creative leaders realize that people are more productive when they can use their own unique strengths, talents, interests and goals.

>>>Stimulate and reward creativity.

This is a basic requirement for the survival of organizations. You must be willing to listen to all ideas even when you may think they are “silly”. Those “silly” ideas may evolve into the best way to do something.

>>>Have commitment to a process of continuous change and use skill in managing change.

PTA has to be willing to change as the population it serves changes.

>>>Acknowledge and promote achievement, recognition, fulfilling work, responsibility, advancement and growth as the reasons people work toward their goals.

Encourage people to be self-directing – to make their own decisions about completing the task they have been given.

Success in leading an organization comes when a leader demonstrates his/her respect for the members’ talents and commitment to the stated goals and purpose.

VOUCHERS FAIL PUBLIC EXPECTATIONS
The General Accounting Office (GAO) recently analyzed studies of voucher programs in Cleveland, Ohio and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and confirmed that vouchers do not improve student achievement. The GAO reported that the evaluations conducted under contract to those cities found little or no difference in voucher and public school students' performance. The report discounted studies conducted by outside researchers which found that voucher students did better in some of the subject areas tested, suggesting that the different conclusions were due to varied study designs, comparison groups, statistical tests, and the extent of missing data on student characteristics.

National PTA opposes vouchers because they abandon public school students, divert public funds to private schools over which the public has no oversight, and do not expand parental choice. A poll by the National School Board Association (NSBA) confirms that the American people feel the same way. Nearly 40% who initially said they would support a voucher program withdrew their support if the program would reduce funding for public schools. Americans understand that draining the public schools of public money can only hurt the students left behind.

It also found that 90% of Americans believe that private schools accepting vouchers should be held to the same accountability and academic standards as public schools, including reporting how they spend tax dollars and student test scores, as well as admitting any student who applies. A survey of private schools conducted by the U.S. Dept. of Education found that a majority of private schools would decline to participate in a voucher program that required them to comply with public school accountability requirements. (Full survey online at http://www.nsba.org/novouchers/vsc_home.cfm.)

National PTA recommends that rather than funnel public dollars into private schools to help only a few, funding should be directed to school modernization and class-size reduction, professional development for teachers, parent involvement, before- and after-school programs, and improved technology. The public agrees that public resources should be invested in programs that will benefit the greatest number of students and do the most to improve public schools.

From This Week in Washington, October 2001

SPANISH LANGUAGE RESOURCES AVAILABLE FROM NATIONAL PTA
The National PTA website offers the following Spanish language resources:

>>>"How to Talk to Teens and Children about HIV/AIDS" What every parent needs to know about the realities of HIV/AIDS. This outlines how to discuss this critical topic with children--from the youngest to the oldest. Spanish at http://www.pta.org/programs/hivlibr/sida.htm and English at http://www.pta.org/programs/hivlibr/hivtalk.htm.

>>>"Healthy Children, Successful Students: Comprehensive School Health Programs" Explains how comprehensive health school programs work and what PTAs can do to put such programs in place in their school systems. The Spanish version is available at or and the English version is at http://www.pta.org/programs/HlthProg.htm.

>>>"Building a Healthy Child" Provides interactive health activities for children in grades K-6 based on topics identified by a nationwide survey of PTA members. Presents 10 easy-to-use, low-cost activities that offer adults an opportunity to discuss with children topics critical to their health. The Spanish version is available at http://www.pta.org/programs/sbhc.htm and the English version is at http://www.pta.org/programs/bhc.htm.
National Standards for Parent/Family Involvement Programs: Appendix A, the "Checklist for Quality Indicators" at http://www.pta.org/programs/appenda.htm is available in the following six languages: English, Cambodian, Chinese, Spanish, Korean, and Vietnamese.

For a listing of other Spanish language resources available on National PTA's website visit, http://www.pta.org/programs/edulibr.htm#spanish.

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